Federal investigators opened a probe of a plane crash that killed a couple shortly after taking off from Susanville, California, Saturday.

According to Redding’s KRCR Channel 7 News, 45-year-old Kevin Fore of Redding and 35-year-old Krista Holstrom of Grants Pass, Oregon, died when their single-engine Piper PA 14 airplane crashed as it was in climbing after takeoff from Susanville Municipal Airport.

A witness told KRCR that the plane was flying at an altitude of 400-500 feet when it stalled. The witness said the left wing then dipped and the plane entered into a sharp turn, before spiraling to the ground.

The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement saying that first responders located the severely damaged airplane in a dirt patch between two paved runways at the Susanville airport. The bodies of Mr. Fore and Ms. Holcomb were still inside the plane. Both were killed on impact.

Mr. Fore and Ms. Holstrom had departed from Redding, California, earlier in the day on their way to Susanville, where they had lunch with family. They were headed back to Redding from Susanville with a planned stop in Eagle Lake when they crashed.

Both Mr. Fore and Ms. Holstrom were experienced and well-respected pilots who had made the same flight many times in the past, according to KRCR. The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office said the couple were flying their Piper PA 14, which they also used as an Alaskan bush plane.

Mr. Fore owned Palo Cedro Heating and Air Conditioning in Shasta County. Ms. Holcomb was a flight instructor at IASCO Flight Training School and a member of the “Whirly Girls” organization – an international group that promotes women in helicopter aviation.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the plane crash. The NTSB normally issues a preliminary report of its findings a couple of weeks after a crash. Final reports and a determination of the factors that caused the crash usually take 12-24 months to complete.

Aviation Litigation

Beasley Allen lawyer Mike Andrews focuses much of his practice on aviation litigation. Mike has represented people seriously injured in a variety of aviation crashes similar to the one described in this story, and the families of those killed in both civilian and military airplane crashes and helicopter crashes. He currently represents families of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 victims involving the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

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